Former Kent State All-American golfer Ben Curtis furnishes 'Birdie Bags'

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

Former Kent State All-American golfer and 2003 British Open champion Ben Curtis, who produced a pair of solid finishes on the PGA Tour earlier this month, is sponsoring a pair of events to support his Ben Curtis Family Foundation.

The charitable foundation was created by Curtis and his wife Candace, a graduate of Kent Roosevelt High School and Kent State University, and furnishes 'Birdie Bags' containing food and toiletry items for students at Holden and Longcoy elementary schools who receive free or reduced lunches.

A 'Toiletry Drive' is currently being held through Aug. 24. Those that donate any 10 unopened travel-size toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, body wash, bars of soap) will receive a raffle ticket for a pair of drawings.

The first drawing, for two tickets to the 2014 WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, will be held July 27. The tickets are good for Aug. 2 or 3.

On Aug. 24, a drawing will take place for a Ben Curtis-autographed copy of 'Beyond the Fairways and Greens: A look inside the lives of PGA Tour families' and a dozen Titleist balls.

Toiletries may be dropped off at Wright Heating and Cooling in Kent, 4Cats Art Studio in Kent, Dontinos in Akron, SPC CrossFit in Kent, Windmill Lakes Golf Club in Ravenna or the Kent State University Golf Course.

In addition, 'The Featured Pairing' -- an evening with PGA Tour champion Ben Curtis -- is set for Friday, July 11, from 8 to 10 p.m. at The Secret Cellar wine bar located on East Main Street in Kent. Cost is $50 per person or $80 per couple and includes two drinks and an appetizer. Only 140 tickets will be sold.

To purchase tickets call The Secret Cellar at 330-678-9463. For more information on the Ben Curtis Family Foundation, visit the web site www.bencurtisfoundation.org.

Curtis finished sixth at the Memorial and 32nd at the St. Jude Classic earlier this month, lifting his season earnings total to $486,051.

MEN'S GOLF

Kent State senior Taylor Pendrith became the 26th player in KSU history to earn All-American honors.when he was named honorable mention on the 2014 PING All-American Team.

"What a great honor for Taylor Pendrith and a great way to cap off not only an awesome four-year career, but also a tremendous senior year," said Flashes coach Herb Page.

Pendrith finished in the top 20 in 11 of the 14 events in which he appeared during the 2013-14 season. The Mid-American Conference's Co-Player of the Year finished second at the MAC Championships in early May and also placed second in the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in late September. His season included nine top-10 finishes and six top-5 finishes.

A tie for third at the NCAA Sugar Grove Invitational last month earned Pendrith a spot as an individual in the NCAA Championship field at Prairie Dunes in Kansas, making him just the second Kent State men's golfer to appear in four consecutive national championships.

Pendrith led Kent State with a stroke average of 71.9 in 2013-14.

"Throughout the year Taylor played at the highest level," said Page. "He was Mr. Consistent for us, playing at an All-American level all year long over a very hard schedule. I'm very proud of him."

Last week, Pendrith shot a final-round 69 to win the 74th Monroe Invitational at Monroe Golf Club in Pittsfield, N.Y.

SOFTBALL

Kent State stars Emma Johnson, Kim Kirkpatrick and Maddy Grimm played for the Ohio College All-Stars during their exhibition doubleheader against the USA Softball Women's National Team last Tuesday in Akron.

Johnson started the opener and fared well in a 3-0 loss. She held Team USA scoreless through three innings before allowing two runs in the fourth, only one of which was earned. Johnson pitched 51⁄3 innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk.

Kirkpatrick started in left field and batted leadoff in both games. She was 0-for-2 at the plate in the opener but did steal a base. In the nightcap, Kirkpatrick went 1-for-2 with a single off former Alabama All-American Jackie Traina, which was one of just five total hits surrendered by Team USA pitching on the night.

Grimm did not record a hit in three at-bats in Game 1, but made an impact defensively. She made two outstanding catches at third base and finished with five putouts.

"I am very proud of the way Emma, Kim and Maddy represented Kent State on a national stage against the best players in the country," KSU coach Karen Linder said.

FOOTBALL

Kent State has reportedly received two verbal commitments for its 2015 recruiting class, defensive tackle Alex Hoag and linebacker Troy Dipre.

Hoag is a 6-4, 255-pound defensive tackle from Venice High School in Florida, the same school that produced star speedster Dri Archer.

Dipre is a 6-1, 220-pound linebacker at Lakewood St. Edward. He piled up 106 tackles, seven sacks and a pair of interceptions while earning First Team All-Ohio honors as a junior last year.

Safety Jordan Italiano, defensive lineman Nate Terhune and punter Anthony Melchiori (Aurora) were named to Athlon's projected 2014 All-MAC Second Team.

The Flashes will open preseason camp on Monday, Aug. 4. The 2014 season opener is set for Aug. 30 at home against MAC rival Ohio.

Email: amoff@recordpub.com

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